Liquor Laws Affecting Residents & Visitors
The sale and service of alcoholic beverages is regulated by the State of Utah. Alcoholic beverage control is a concept that Utah shares with other states and countries. Utah's liquor laws are based on the general philosophy of making alcoholic beverages available in a manner that reasonably satisfies the public demand. In this respect, however, the state does not promote or encourage the sale or use of alcohol.
A person must be at least 21 years of age or older to purchase and consume alcohol in Utah.
How residents and visitors may obtain alcoholic beverages
Wine, Liquor, Flavored Malt Beverages, Beer, and Heavy Beer
- Full liquor service is available in licensed restaurants, banquet and catering facilities, reception centers, airport lounges, and clubs. Patrons may order liquor by the drink, wine by the glass or bottle, and beer in bottles, cans and on draft. Packaged liquor, wine, and heavy beer (over 3.2%) are available in State Liquor Stores and Package Agencies.
- In restaurants with full service liquor licenses, liquor, wine, flavored malt beverages, and heavy beer (over 3.2%) may be served from 11:30 AM to midnight. Beer (3.2%) is available from 11:30 AM to 1:00 AM. Patrons must be dining in the restaurant in order to be served an alcoholic beverage. Patrons must be dining in order to be served an alcoholic beverage.
- In restaurants with limited service liquor licenses, wine, and heavy beer (over 3.2%) may be served from 11:30 AM to midnight. Beer (3.2%) is available from 11:30 AM. to 1:00 AM. Limited restaurant licenses may not sell flavored malt beverages or distilled spirits. Patrons must be dining in order to be served an alcoholic beverage.
- Restaurants with beer only licenses: Effective March 1, 2012, restaurants with a beer only license may sell beer (3.2%) beginning at 11:30 AM and ending at 1:00 AM.
- An on-premise banquet license allows the storage, sale, service, and consumption of liquor, wine, flavored malt beverages, heavy beer, and beer for contracted banquet activities on the premises of a hotel, resort facility, sports center, or convention center. It also allows for room service in hotels and resorts. Alcoholic beverages may be sold on any day from 10 AM until 1:00 AM.
- A reception center license allows the storage, sale, service, and consumption of liquor, wine, heavey beer, and beer for banquet and event functions on the premises of small banquet and event venues that want to sell, offer for sale, or furnish alcohol on their premises. Alcoholic beverages may be sold on any day from 10:00 AM until 1:00 AM.
- In clubs, liquor, wine, flavored malt beverages, heavy beer, and beer may be served from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. Clubs sell alcoholic beverages with or without food, and patrons may be served at a bar or table. Many clubs provide live entertainment. There are four types of clubs; equity, fraternal, dining, and social. Dining and Social clubs are open to the public. Equity clubs (such as country clubs) and Fraternal or Patriotic clubs are for members and their guests.
- In airport lounges, liquor, wine, flavored malt beverages, heavy beer, and beer may be served from 8:00 a.m. until 12 midnight. Alcoholic beverages may be sold with or without food, and patrons may be served at a bar or table. Airport lounges are located at the Salt Lake International Airport.
- Packaged liquor, wine, and heavy beer 'to go' is sold at 44 full service state liquor stores. There are also more than 100 package agencies that offer a more modest selection of these products. Package agencies are often located in smaller cities and towns, and in hotels and resorts for customer convenience.
- Utah offers a world class wine selection at three specialty wine stores located at: 255 South 300 East, 1863 East 7000 South, and 280 W Harris Ave in Salt Lake City. Several other state stores also offer expanded wine selections. Locate a store
Beer establishments sell beer to customers in a variety of venues. These include taverns, lounges, cabarets, nightclubs, cafes, bowling alleys, golf courses, etc. The hours for beer sales in these establishments are 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. Beer may be purchased without ordering food, and is sold on draft and in bottles and cans. Packaged beer is also available at supermarkets, grocery and convenience stores. The maximum alcohol content is 4.0% by volume (3.2% by weight) for beer sold in taverns, beer establishments, and stores."Taverns" are beer bars, parlors, lounges, cabarets, and nightclubs where the revenue from the sale of beer exceeds the revenue of the sale of food. Minors are not allowed on the premises of a tavern.
Single Event Permits
Single event permits are available from the Utah Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission for groups that want to sell liquor, wine, flavored malt beverages, beer, and heavy beer at temporary events. These are available to a bona fide partnership, corporation, limited liability company, political or religious organization, or incorporated association (including a recognized subordinate lodge, chapter or other local unit) that is conducting a civic or community enterprise or convention. The permit allows for the sale of alcoholic beverages to the general public, or to the organization's own invited guests for the duration of the event. The permit allows for cash bars and the sale of alcohol for fundraising purposes. Permits are issued by the commission once a month. Application must be made by the 10th of each month and the fee is $125.
Temporary Beer Permits
Temporary event permits for the sale of beer (3.2%) are issued by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission for on-premise consumption at a temporary event. Permits are issued by the commission once a month. Application must be made by the 10th of each month and the fee is $100. This permit is in addition to any that are required by a city, town, or county in which the event is held.
Individuals and organizations hosting private social, business, or recreational events or functions are not required to obtain a permit from the state if the event is not open to the general public, and alcohol is provided to invited guests without cost.
Utah law requires restaurants, clubs, on-premise banquet licensees, reception centers, and airport lounges to use a metered dispensing system that is calibrated to dispense no more than 1.5 ounces of primary liquor in a mixed drink. Secondary alcoholic flavorings may then be added to a mixed drink as the recipe requires, not to exceed a total of 2.5 ounces of spirituous liquor.
Restaurants (full and limited service), on-premise banquet licensees, reception centers, clubs, and airport lounges may serve wine by the glass (5 ounces) or by the bottle.
"Brown Bagging" is a term-of-art that refers to the practice of bringing alcoholic beverages into an establishment that is open to the public for consumption on the premises. This practice is generally prohibited, however there are three exceptions. 1) A person may bring bottled wines onto the premises of a full service, or limited service restaurant or a club liquor licensee (at the discretion of the licensee) and consume the wine. 2) Alcoholic beverages may be brought onto and consumed in limousines and charter busses under certain restrictions. 3) A person may bring onto any premises, have, and consume any alcoholic beverage at a privately-hosted event (private party) that is not open to the general public.